Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Information Literacy Research Seminar in June 2010 as part of CoLIS

An Information Literacy Research Seminar is scheduled on 23rd of June 2010 as part of the CoLIS conference (International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science) which takes place in London, UK "The research seminar will take the form of discussions starting from presentations of participants' past, on-going and/or planned research. We are looking for work in progress rather than papers ready for publication. The focus will be on discussions and the sharing of ideas and experiences." There is no separate cost, but participants will have to register for the main CoLIS conference.
"Participants are asked to submit a position paper on experiences of / plans for / ideas about / views on approaches to information literacy research (ca 1000 words). The application should also include a brief CV. The application should be electronically submitted at the latest by May 3, 2010 in either Word, RTF or pdf format" More information at

Photo by Sheila Webber: Graffiti on the S-Bahn, Berlin, September 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Information Literacy Flickr Group

Since (surprisingly) no-one appeared to have done it yet, I have set up a group on Flickr called Information Literacy. At the moment anyone can join and add photos immediately to the pool, so please do if you have photos you think are in some way related to information literacy.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Spot the penguin. They swim so fast! Berlin Zoo, September 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

New articles

Following on nicely from my last post, there is an article on clickers in the latest issue of the Journal of academic librarianship:
Deleo, P., Eichenholtz, S and Sosin, A. (2009) "Bridging the Information Literacy Gap with Clickers " Journal of academic librarianship, 35 (5), 438-444

The latest issue of References services review also has a number of information literacy articles (plus a number on mobile & Web 2.0 technology, go here for the full contents list). Both these journals are priced.
- Mitchell, E. and Watstein, S. (2009) "Taiga and Darien: Relevance for reference and instructional services for libraries in the digital age" References services review, 37 (3), 253-259 - West, K. and Williamson, J. (2009) "Wikipedia: friend or foe?" References services review, 37 (3), 260-271
- Armstrong, A. (2009) "Student perceptions of federated searching vs single database searching" References services review, 37 (3), 291-303
- Korobili, S., Malliari, A., and Christodoulou, G. (2009) "Assessing information literacy skills in the Technological Education Institute of Thessaloniki, Greece" References services review, 37 (3), 340-354

Photo by Sheila Webber: Spot the (big) cat no. 10 (Berlin zoo, September 2009). You may have to click the thumbnail to see the lion. This was my favourite of the big cat zoo pictures. This concludes the "Spot the cat" series, but there will be one more "spot" picture, with another creature.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Beth Clark (Head of Electronic Services, Library, School of Oriental and African Studies) asked about use of "clickers" (personal response systems) on the lis-infoliteracy list. She referred to City University's web page as an introduction about the technology:

and in a subsequent post someone recommended a delicious site that bookmarks pages on voting systems
Beth Clark has now helpfully summarised the uses by librarians, and the advantages & disadvantages that people had told her about, in the lis-infoliteracy post here.

Additionally, looking on the Educause site I found the Classroom Response Systems - 42 Resources page, with links articles and presentations (including about use in libraries).
I also did a quick search on the JISC site, and amongst other things there is a good case study of the use of clickers with Engineering students ( Active collaborative learning: University of Strathclyde) on the case study page here
Finally, I noticed there's been a recent brief post on another information literacy blog about clicker use during library orientation

Photo by sheila Webber: Spot the (big) cat no. 9 (Berlin Zoo, September 2009)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Centre for Information Literacy Research Ning

Just a reminder that there is a ning website for the Centre for Information Literacy Research, which includes a feed from the Centre for Information Literacy Research slideshare account. This latter account currently has three presentations from the event in August and several powerpoints just uploaded by Professor Sheila Corrall. The ning is at and the slideshare account is at

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Information Literacy competences for service users in Nursing, Midwifery, Health and Social Care

The UK's Royal College of Nursing has developed a draft competence framework to help midwives, healthcare assistants and nursing students develop their skills in using information and knowledge. They based it on the Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy (ANZIIL) Framework, but link it to the RCN's existing career and competence framework. They now want to consult external stakeholders "with a view to seeking subsequent accreditation with the RCN Accreditation unit". There is a survey, open til 2nd October, which has the documents embedded in it. The username and password is rcnilcuser

Photo by Sheila Webber: Spot the (big) cat no. 8 (you may have to click on the thumbnail). Berlin Zoo, September 2009.

CILIP courses in London

Teaching information literacy in Higher Education: 8 December 2009, London, UK
"This course will address the issues and practicalities associated with designing effective IL activities/sessions." More info at

Teaching large groups: 10 November 2009, London
"The aim of this one day workshop is to equip individuals with practical approaches to designing and delivering effective large group sessions including the use of interactive activities."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Trails assessment tool

It is worth reminding people about the Trails assessment tool that is available for anyone to use with their learners. You can sign up immediately as a tutor, and choose which multiple choice test you want your learners to take. They are aimed at older schoolchildren (I think? 6th and 9th grade, not sure what ages those are) in the USA, and structured around the Information Power information literacy standards (some around all the standrads, others focusing in more depth on a particular standard). You get reports on the learners' performance, and if you give the students codes in advance to identify themselves, you can set it so that the learners can see their own answers and what they should have answered, afterwards.
This is obviously a very useful resource to have completey free and open to use, and big thanks to its producers and funders. The main drawbacks that I perceive are, firstly, for people outside the US, the natural focus on US issues and use of US terminology and spelling e.g. in one question learners have to think about the suitability of the topic "What steps must public high schools take to establish on-site daycare for children of teenage parents attending school?": in the UK, we would have to explain what "public high schools" were.
There is also the perennial issue with information literacy multiple choice questions, of disagreeing about which of the choices is right. For example, in a question about suitable people to ask about recycled "tire" (tyre) products, the correct choices are flagged as teacher or librarian, and a car mechanic choice isn't highlighted. However, with the greater emphasis on green issues, I think in the UK there would be more likelihood that people in garages would be able to help, and even more so in a country like Germany with rigourous recycling policies.
However still well worth looking at.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Spot the cat no 7 (sitting on my clemetis, Sheffield, March 2009). Actually I think I have posted this one before. There are a couple more recently-taken photos coming: "spot the big cat".

Monday, September 21, 2009

RIN report: Communicating knowledge

Communicating knowledge: How and why UK researchers publish and disseminate their findings is an interesting report released last week. "It investigates a series of questions in three broad areas: 1. Publication and dissemination behaviour; 2. Citation behaviour; 3. The perceived influence of research assessment (past and anticipated)" For the information of non-Brits, "research assessment" means the periodic exercise that rates every department in every UK university on the quality of its research: Government funding is related to the score so this is very important to UK academics.
The investigation was done through bibliometric (citation) analysis, a literature review, an online survey and focus groups and interviews conducted with research-active academics from various institutions and disciplines.
The report discusses disciplinary differences. For example, journal articles are important to everyone, but there are differing patterns as regards other publications "it is notable that strong majorities of researchers across all disciplines regard other forms of publication and output as important, especially conference presentations and posters, monographs, and book chapters." (there are bar charts showing differences)
The report discusses influences on where to publish (including the tension between desire to reach particular audience (e.g. practitioners), and need to be published in "top" journals; and the influence of the research assessment exercise). The report also discusses issues that affect citation and retrieval, such as who gets listed as author and in what order (this varies dramatically by discipline); and issues of how references are chosen.
The report was done by a team from Loughborough University and Manchester Metropolitan University: Jenny Fry and Charles Oppenheim; Claire Creaser, William Johnson, Mark Summers; and Geoff Butters, Jenny Craven, Jill Griffiths, and Dick Hartley.
Research Information Network. (2009) Communicating knowledge: How and why UK researchers publish and disseminate their findings. RIN and JISC.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Spot the cat no. 6 (Milan Castle, August 2009). You will probably need to click the thumbnail to spot the cat... OK, this is actually a trick one, the cat is under the car (I wasn't quite quick enough with my camera) and therefore cannot be spotted.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

LOEX call for papers

There is a call for proposals for LOEX, the main information literacy conference in the USA. It will run April 29 -- May 1, 2010 in Dearborn, Michigan, USA. The conference theme is Bridging and Beyond: Developing Librarian Infrastructure. There are 7 themes: Structural Supports: Assessment and Evaluation; Infrastructure: Designing Enhanced Learning Spaces; Materials: Innovative Use of Instructional Technology; Expansion: Utilizing Nontraditional Instruction Methods; Bridges Near and Far: Forming Innovative Collaborations; Removing the Tolls: Employing Effective Leadership ; Reinforcements: Curriculum Lesson Plans "to Go". There are several session formats. Proposals must be received by November 20, 2009. More information can be found at:

Photo by Sheila Webber: Spot the cat no. 5 (Milan Castle, August 2009). You may need to click the thumbnail to spot the cat.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Call for papers for LILAC 2010

There is a call for papers for LILAC 2010 (the major information literacy conference in the UK and Ireland), to be held 29th - 31st March in Limerick, Ireland is now open. The themes of next year's conference are: Measuring Impact; Developing the IL practitioner; IL and research; Making connections: cross-sectoral initiatives; Innovative practice. The deadline for proposals is 1st November 2009. More details at

Photo by Sheila Webber: Spot the cat no. 4 (Milan Castle, August 2009). You will probably need to click the thumbnail to spot the cats. How many can you spot?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Infolit videos

Peter Godwin has uploaded 3 short "head to head" vidoes he made with a colleague at Bedford University. They contrast broadsheet and tabloid newspapers, professional and academic journals, and Google and databases. Photo by Sheila Webber: Spot the cat no. 3 (Milan Castle, August 2009). You may need to click the thumbnail to spot the cat.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Information Literacy Week in Second Life

There will be a meeting on Thursday 17 September, in Second Life (the virtual world) about Information Literacy week in Second Life. IL week in SL will be taking place 9-15 November 2009. Some events are already planned but there is plenty more to do, and ideas and volunteers are welcome. The idea has been endorsed by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Information Literacy section.

If you can't get to the meeting, but are interested in getting involved, email me or send me a notecard in Second Life (where I am Sheila Yoshikawa)

When: Thursday, 17 September, 12:00 – 13:00 SL time (which is the same as US pacific time, see for times elsewhere)
Where: (on Infolit iSchool, Second Life)
You need a SL avatar and a computer with the SL browser installed to participate.

Information Literacy Obesity event

On 4 November 2009 (pm) there will be a workshop in the Leek Road Campus of Staffordshire University, Stoke on Trent, UK. This is part of the SUILCOP series.
The speakers are:
Andrew Whitworth, University of Manchester: Information Obesity and Information Literacy
Ben Scoble, Learning Development and Innovation, Staffordshire University: Exploring your learning ecology in the 21st Century
To book a place go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: Spot the cat no. 2 (Milan Castle, August 2009). There has been a hiatus in the Spot the Cat series because I was on holiday for a few days. You will probably need to click the thumbnail to spot the cat.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Discussion transcripts posted

Transcripts of the chat conversation from the last 5 discussion/presentation sessions held in Second Life (the virtual world) are available. This is the Centre for Information Literacy Research (CILR) series. There are links to material from all previous sessions (about 30) at
If you have a Second Life avatar, you can also go inworld and find boards with links and notecards in the CILR on Infolit iSchool at
The events, with individual links, were:
1) Report on IL at the IFLA 2009 Conference (3 September 2009; Sheila Yoshikawa/ Sheila Webber) chatlog at
2) EDINA and SL (20 August 2009) chatlog at
3) Information providers in a virtual world (6 August 2009; Lorri Momiji/ Lorri Mon) chatlog at (shown in first picture)
4) Intellectual Property (IP) and SL (30 July 2009; led by Pancha Enzyme) chatlog at (shown in second picture)
5) Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) and the First Year Experience (FYE) (23 July; Sheila Yoshikawa/ Sheila Webber) chatlog at this is rather skinmpy since I did the presentation in voice: the text of my slides (i.e. the text from the SL notecard) with short notes is here:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Colombian information literacy

Recently there were posts to a few discussion lists publicising Colombian information Literacy Resources.
Facebook Community:
Facebook Page:
plus (in English and with links to the abve)
Photo by Sheila Webber: Lake Como, August 2009

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

IFLA reports: E-learning

I've still got a couple of items from the IFLA/ World Library and Information Conference that took place in August in Milan, Italy (the photo is taken in Milan Castle, no. 1 in my "spot thre cat" series, watch out for more). I took a lot of notes at the e-learning session but I'm not sure all of them are relevant, so I'll just note two, but link to all the papers at the end.
Lesley Farmer talked about Library e-learning spaces. She distinguished between formal/ informal learning and virtual learning (which could be either). She also talked about meanings of space, including space inside people's minds and "needing space". She listed some different approaches to teaching, and also aspects of learning spaces e.g. that they facilitate peer to peer and group learning, or support individual work, or are immersive, or include simulation. Lesley referred to supporting theories e.g. social costructivist, situated learning, environmental psychology, Vygostky's ideas and Kolb's experiential learning theory (his learning cycle).
Lesley identified that you need different environments "to support knowledge sharing" in different ways e.g. delivering, applying, communicating information, or decision making. These ideas apply in e-learning as in other kinds of learning. She identified the need for flexibility, decentralisation (moving between venues etc.), ergonomic comfort, making the environment stimulating to the senses (sight, sound), and having ubiquitous technology (e.g. enough power sockets - unlike the conference centre!)
Some features that she felt fostered "community-based learning" were communication surfaces (such as smartboards, walls you can write on etc.), open areas with flexible furniture and joint work space & flexible lighting. I will say that at Sheffield, there are spaces like this in our Information Commons ( although not enough of them!
Peter Wynne presented instead of Bob Glass. He was looking at whether LIS professionals were getting enough ICT and elearning training and what the picture was in the UK. Their university, Manchester Metropolitan, is part of Web-based Information Science Education (WISE) , which offers online short courses ("a method of filling spare capacity"): They did a small online survey, with 10 higher education libraries and 3 public library authorities responding. There were huge differences in training budgets an informal response from a public library was "what training budget?" Many said that library staff training budgets had remained static or decreased. The most popular area for training was Web 2.0, elearning packages, and information literacy. The skills gaps did not seem to be with new graduates, so it seemed like it was established staff rather than recent recruits who needed training.

These are the links to the papers
- LESLEY FARMER (California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, USA)Library e-learning spaces.
- BOB GLASS (Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)Training for Information Professionals in ICT's, e-learning and related issues: what can library schools do to help (not the paper that was actually delivered!)
- BAU-MEI CHENG E-learning for the librarians in Taiwan: the experience at the National Central Library's E-learning campus
- IDA A. JOINER (Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pittsburg, USA)
If we 'e' it, will they come? Lifelong e-learning at a large urban public library?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Internet Literacy Handbook

I don't think I've blogged something I noticed in the UKeiG newsletter as part of the current awareness section:
Richardson, J et al (Eds) (2008) The Internet Literacy Handbook. 3rd Ed. Council of Europe.

There are 2 online formats (free) and a printed version. It is aimed particularly at parents or others working with children and consists of a series of "factsheets" which describe some basics and also talk about dangers and safeguards. The topics covered include:Getting connected; Setting up websites; Searching for information; Chat; World-wide libraries; Music and images on the Internet; Distance learning; Privacy; Bullying and harassment; Shopping online; Becoming an active e-citizen; Mobile technology; Social networking;e-Democracy.

Photo by Sheila Webber: Coffee and torta in Cernobbio, August 2009

International Literacy Day

Today is UNESCO's International Literacy Day. To be information literate obviously requires literacy, in terms of the ability to read and understand the text, symbols, signs, speech (etc.) that enable you to learn, work, share, enjoy life (etc.) in your environment(s) and culture(s).
The UNESCO literacy website is at and this reminds us that "Today one in five adults is still not literate and two-thirds of them are women while 75 million children are out of school.". There is a Bloggers Unite page for the day too.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Part of a poster about outreach at the University of Guyana, a summer school initiative, shown at the IFLA conference.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Article: information behaviour of healthcare professionals

Fourie, I. (2009) "Learning from research on the information behaviour of healthcare professionals: a review of the literature 2004-2008 with a focus on emotion." Health Information and Libraries Journal, 26 (3), 171-86. "
Objective: A review, focusing on emotion, was conducted of reported studies on the information behaviour of healthcare professionals (2004-2008). Findings were intended to offer guidelines on information services and information literacy training, to note gaps in research and to raise research interest. Method: Databases were searched for literature published from January 2004 to December 2008 and indexed on eric, Library and Information Science Abstracts, medline, PsycINFO, Social Services Abstracts, Sociological Abstracts, Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition; Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts; Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection; Social Work Abstracts; SocINDEX with Full Text; SPORTDiscus; cinhal; and the ISI Web of Knowledge databases. Key journals were manually scanned and citations followed. Literature was included if reporting on issues concerning emotion. Results: Emotion in information behaviour in healthcare contexts is scantily addressed. This review, however, offers some insight into the difficulty in identifying and expressing information needs; sense making and the need to fill knowledge gaps; uncertainty; personality and coping skills; motivation to seeking information; emotional experiences during information seeking; self-confidence and attitude; emotional factors in the selection of information channels; and seeking information for psychological or emotional reasons. Conclusion: Suggestions following findings, address information literacy programs, information services and research gaps." (Found on Pubmed via Libworm)
Photo by Sheila Webber: MIlan, Cathedral, August 2009

Friday, September 04, 2009

IFLA Reports: Integrating tradition: Kenanow and information literacy

One of the posters at the IFLA/ World Library and Information Conference was Integrating tradition: Kenanow and information literacy. Presenter was Shannon McAlorum of University College of the North, Canada ( a little more information on her is here, and she is pictured on the right). This was an interesting poster about using indigenous ways of learning and knowing to engage people from that community.

The central circle on the poster gives her starting proposition that “Using pedagogical methods grounded in tradition and develped by Cree of Northern Manitoba will increase the rate at which Cree students perceive and adapt to new information literacy techniques”. Both strengths and weaknesses emerged, as is listed on the poster (click it to see larger size, note the copyright for the content is Shannon's).

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Information Literacy for "outliers"

A very interesting initiative based at the University of Washington Information School is reported in:

Birdsong, Lark. (2009) "Information Literacy Training for All: The Outliers." Searcher, 17 (8).

"The Initiative has grown from the Research Rocks youth group to include women without homes, entrepreneurs/business owners, adults older than 50, and individuals looking for employment. "

Photo by Sheila Webber: Ferry booking office, Cernobbio, Lake Como, August 2009

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

IFLA Reports: Poster on faculty cooperation

I'm resuming reports on last week's IFLA/ World Library and Information Conference that took place in Milan, Italy. There was a large and interesting poster area in the exhibition. One of the posters was by Tayo Nagasawa (Higher Education Development Centre, Mie University, Japan). Her poster was Factors in developing partnerships between faculty members and librarians in higher education. She had studied the situation at two institutions in the USA (Earlham College and the University of Michigan) and categorised successful approaches in developing good relationships with academics. She lists them under two headings: Proactive approaches and Customised support. A nice touch was that she left a space on the poster for people to add comments on things that did and didn’t work for them, on post it notes that she provided.

A few people had some kind of interactive element on their posters and this was referred to in the IFLA closing ceremony as evidence of “Posters 2.0”!
You can see, above, Ms Nagasawa talking to someone by her poster and, below, the "post it" area of her poster. I was positive I had taken a picture of the whole poster, but I can't find it - sorry about that. I'll therefore add a bit more detail. The proactive approaches she listed were; librarians as facilitators, needs-oriented support for the community; support for faculty members, and informal comunication. The Customised support was: research assignments (librarians concentrate on support for classes with assignments involving research or problem solving); support regarding specific topics, and support at teachable moment.

Another Swedish information literacy book

In a comment below, Ola Pilerot mentions another new information literacy book in Swedish, and now has some extra information.

Hedman, J., & Lundh, A. (eds.) (2009). Informationskompetenser: om lärande i informationspraktiker och informationssökning i lärandepraktiker. [Information literacies: on learning in information practices and information seeking in learning practices]. Stockholm: Carlsson Bokforlag. See (in Swedish)

"This book is composed of 12 chapters presenting and discussing theoretical perspectives and empirical studies of information literacy, related to all educational levels from elementary school to college and to learning information practice in occupational life. Different aspects of information literacy including the mediation of meaning andmaterial aspects are included. Implications for further research as well as for information literacy education are recurring topics throughout the book. All researchers within the BIKT programme have contributed one or more chapters. A few authors from outside the BIKTgroup have been invited to contribute to this volume." (taken from here)

Photo by Sheila Webber: On Lake Como, August 2009

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

National Forum of Information Literacy 20th Anniversary Celebration

The (US) National Forum of Information Literacy 20th Anniversary Celebration takes place on 15th October (a celebratory dinner) and 16th October, and is entitled Empowering Future Generations: Information Literacy. The location is Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Conference Center, Washington, D.C., USA. The annual meeting event on the 16th includes Empowering Future Generations: Information Literacy – A National Strategic Plan with guest presenters Guadalupe Pachecho, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Dr. Milli Pierce, Public Education Network, Washington, D.C. and Jim Rettig, President, American Library Association. For more info
Photo by Sheila Webber: Balbianello, Lake Como, August 2009